Rick Perry Calls Charleston Church Shooting an ‘Accident’
Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry on Friday suggested the fatal shooting of nine black people at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, by a white male was a drug-induced “accident”.
The former Texas governor was asked about the mass shooting at Emanuel AME church during an interview with the conservative NewsmaxTV. A spokesman for Perry later clarified that the Republican presidential candidate meant to say “incident,” but the soundbyte drew immediate attention and backlash.
Perry, who announced this month that he is running for president again after a failed bid in 2012, said he didn’t know if the tragedy was an “act of terror”, but acknowledged it was “a crime of hate”.
But Perry then pivoted to what he called the “real issue to be talked about” - drugs.